"They named a brandy after Napoleon, they made a herring out of Bismarck,and Hitler is going to end up as a piece of cheese."



Lubitschs Geliebte: The Shop around the Corner [Rendezvous nach Ladenschluss] US, 1940, R: Ernst Lubitsch mit Margaret Sullivan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan, Werner R. Heymann, 95 Min, OV

In einem Lederwarengeschäft können sich die neue Mitarbeiterin Klara Novak und Alfred Kralik nicht ausstehen. Ohne es zu ahnen, stehen die beiden jedoch in einem romatischen Briefkontakt. „Ich habe nie einen Film gemacht, in dem die Atmosphäre und die Gestalten authentischer gewäsen wären als in diesem Film.“

The film’s focus on the working class, though rooted in Lubitsch’s own biography, diverged from his usual affluent subjects, while its confinement largely to one location—an independently owned leather-goods store in Budapest in the weeks leading up to Christmas—stands out after the globetrotting of Ninotchka. And yet, these very deviations proved equally tailored to Lubitsch’s talents. The down-to-earth cast of characters, orbiting around shopkeeper Mr. Matuschek his trusty clerk, Mr. Kralik and newcomer employee Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan), emanate the same wit and warmth that drives the director’s best comic creations, and the titular store serves as a perfect vehicle for ensemble interplay, as well as snappy changeovers between public and private identities. As the workplace adversaries who belatedly learn they are actually pen pal lovers, Stewart and Sullavan are superbly likable, commanding a series of lengthy two-shots that swerve between animosity and blossoming affection. It’s their chemistry that makes The Shop Around the Corner such a charming yuletide classic, even as Lubitsch simultaneously critiques the materialistic mentality of the season.

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